Album: Eurovision Song Contest: Lisbon 2018 (2018)
Charted: 49
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Songfacts®:

  • Netta Barzilai is an Israeli pop singer who first came to her country's public attention after winning the fifth season of the interactive reality singing competition, HaKokhav HaBa. This earned her the right to represent Israel in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest.

    Netta performed the quirky upbeat pop song "Toy" and her combination of chicken-themed dance moves and a powerful vocal performance ensured it was voted the winner, marking Israel's fourth Eurovision victory after 1978, 1979 and 1998.
  • Netta's performance featured the appropriation of Japanese cultural imagery. The Japanese word "baka" ("stupid") is mentioned a number of times in the song, while there are several Pokemon references in the lyrics. Netta herself wore a kimono and buns and the performance's staging featured maneki-nekos—a Japanese symbol of luck. Asked by The Independent whether pop culture references are important to her musical style, Netta replied:

    "Of course! I am a very poppy little girl. I wasn't allowed to be poppy at first because y'know in my mind, pop stars are thin and beautiful and light, and I've never felt beautiful, skinny and light. When you are a big girl you are told to think of yourself certain things: that if you are a musician you have to have a 'big mama' voice, you have to sing Adele or Aretha Franklin. People expect to be "moved" by your voice in that way. I fell into that for a very long time."
  • "Toy" finds Netta singing about social justice and empowerment of all people, inspired by the anti-harassment campaign #MeToo. She explained:

    "Women, this year have been searching and finding their voices which is great, which is amazing, and very very important. But you know, it's an empowerment song in general for everybody, for everybody who has been struggling to be themselves, struggling with their bosses, with the government, somebody stepping on them. I have been told so many times that I am not pretty enough, I am not skinny enough to do what I wanna do. And that's it, it is an empowering song, everyone can find something in it. And it is wrapped in a happy vibe, which I love!"
  • The song was written by Israeli songwriters Doron Medalie and Stave Beger, but Jack White was added to the songwriting credits because the chorus melody is similar to that of the guitar riff on the White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army."

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